27 Apr 2018

Author Interview / Ruth O'Neill

Some secrets never leave us alone...

Gemma Peacock’s life was perfect – or at least, she thought it was. She had a home she loved, a job she enjoyed, and a husband she adored. The only cloud on the horizon was the continuing tension between Gemma and her mother-in-law, but that’s the same for everyone, right?

After the death of her beloved husband, Ritchie, everything begins to fall apart.

Indiana Manors’ life, on the other hand, is far from perfect – but she knows just what she has to do to fix it. Befriend Gemma Peacock – and destroy her.

Befriended is an exciting, contemporary thriller that will keep you on the very edge of your seat. This book will toy with your emotions time and time again – and keep you coming back for more.


1.  If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
Erin Kelly as I love the way she writes suspense thrillers.

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
My typical working day is arriving at The City Academy Bristol at 8am preparing for the students I support.

I have always enjoyed helping others and I’m very committed to my job as a Teaching Assistant for literacy, where I support young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities.

I write most nights 7-9pm sat in the dining room with the TV on as a background noise.

3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
I find writing dialogue very complex and struggle with this quite often.

4.  When and why did you first start writing?
I began writing in 2011 and my first book Sunshine & Tears was published in 2015. Sunshine & Tears was a sort of therapy for me as I wrote about the events that happened in my life twenty years ago.

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?
In Befriended the character Indiana Manors isn’t a nice person so I thought she must have a darkness to her to behave in the way she does. This led to her suffering from a mental disorder and the lengths she would go to to hurt people. I researched mental health disorders and was surprised at how many people actually suffer from mental health disorders in the UK.
As I’m a big fan of thrillers I built the story around a surprising twist that would keep readers guessing.

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I spend most of my time working and writing now so I only read when I’m on holiday. I just spent Easter in Tenerife and read The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond.

7.  Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Believe in yourself and write about what you love.